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Second dive at fantastic Ulong Channel in Palau

Unusually large school of grey reef sharks; they sometimes congregate during the day over flat areas but are more active, and feed, at night

Unusually large school of grey reef sharks; they sometimes congregate during the day over flat areas but are more active, and feed, at night

Critically-endangered hawksbill turtle; they nest in the Rock Islands of Palau and can grow to 37 inches long and weigh 145 pounds

Critically-endangered hawksbill turtle; they nest in the Rock Islands of Palau and can grow to 37 inches long and weigh 145 pounds

Spotted parrotfish; most parrotfish species live 7-10 years; however, the largest species can live around 20 years

Spotted parrotfish; most parrotfish species live 7-10 years; however, the largest species can live around 20 years

Yellowtail parrotfish; their teeth are fused into powerful beaks which are used for grabbing filamentous algae from dead coral

Yellowtail parrotfish; their teeth are fused into powerful beaks which are used for grabbing filamentous algae from dead coral

White belly damselfish;  this common species feeds on algae, fish eggs and zooplankton

White belly damselfish; this common species feeds on algae, fish eggs and zooplankton

Huge school of big-eyed jacks; uninhabited Ulong Island, with its gorgeous beach, is where Survivor was filmed

Huge school of big-eyed jacks; uninhabited Ulong Island, with its gorgeous beach, is where Survivor was filmed

Gray reef shark; three major ocean currents meet off of Palau which is one reason for the vast range of species here

Gray reef shark; three major ocean currents meet off of Palau which is one reason for the vast range of species here

The colorful Christmas tree worms retreat into their tubes when spooked with the opening protected by sharp, antler shaped spines

The colorful Christmas tree worms retreat into their tubes when spooked with the opening protected by sharp, antler shaped spines

Another grumpy grouper; I rented a car to explore the small island but you really don't need one as most dive shops and hotels offer a free shuttle service

Another grumpy grouper; I rented a car to explore the small island but you really don't need one as most dive shops and hotels offer a free shuttle service

I thought this black crinoid on wire coral looked just like a palm tree; with the strong current it was a challenge to get a photo from the right angle

I thought this black crinoid on wire coral looked just like a palm tree; with the strong current it was a challenge to get a photo from the right angle

Masked bannerfish couple; I got very sick a couple of times during the 4 month trip but avoided hospitals and never had a bad fall

Masked bannerfish couple; I got very sick a couple of times during the 4 month trip but avoided hospitals and never had a bad fall

Granulated sea star; amazing that I never had a flight cancellation or significant delay with 20  flights during my 4 month trip (and no lost luggage either!)

Granulated sea star; amazing that I never had a flight cancellation or significant delay with 20+ flights during my 4 month trip (and no lost luggage either!)

Ornate butterflyfish; this species feeds by scraping coral and dislodging polyps with each pass of their mouth that they then eat

Ornate butterflyfish; this species feeds by scraping coral and dislodging polyps with each pass of their mouth that they then eat

Amazingly, I saw this same shark 3 days later; he/she is easy to pick out since his/her dorsal fin is gone

Amazingly, I saw this same shark 3 days later; he/she is easy to pick out since his/her dorsal fin is gone

Pyramid butterflyfish; certain hotels and dive shops cater to the Chinese visitors while other hotels and dive shops refuse to book them due to problems they've had

Pyramid butterflyfish; certain hotels and dive shops cater to the Chinese visitors while other hotels and dive shops refuse to book them due to problems they've had

The trevallies gather in big schools and swirl like an underwater tornado during the spawning process; the choreography was impressive

The trevallies gather in big schools and swirl like an underwater tornado during the spawning process; the choreography was impressive

Posted by VagabondCowboy 03:27

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